An Illustrated Popol Vuh (Call for artists)

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Recently, I received a Call for Artists from my friend David A. Ouellette about a fabulous exhibition based on the Maya Popol Vuh accounts. He is organizing it this Fall at McNeese State University.  I decided to ask David a few questions and share the Call for Artists with you all.

Sergio: Why did you decide to organize an exhibition about the Popol Vuh?

David: I have had the idea for a while. I wanted some meaningful way to tie together my interests in ancient Mesoamerica and Contemporary Art. When I first visited McNeese State University in November of 2011, I saw an exhibition of photographs that included some that narrated traditional Louisiana folklore. I thought it was a wonderful way to bring those stories alive for the viewer, and as a result I wanted to do something similar to bring this important Maya narrative to a modern audience. To me, the Popol Vuh has always been one of the most enthralling mythological narratives, on par with those of ancient Egypt or Greece, but it remains relatively obscure.

Sergio: Is the exhibition call open to all artists?

David: The call is open to all artists. For those that are not familiar with the story of the Popol Vuh, I have provided some links on the prospectus to online resources where they can learn more. I encourage submissions from Mexican and Guatemalan artists.

Sergio: What are you hoping the viewer will experience when viewing the exhibition?

David: I hope that viewers will take away a sense of the narrative, and a sense of wonder about the people who the story represents. Maybe it will provoke them into learning more about the ancient, and contemporary Maya, and to appreciate this rich and enduring culture. I am working with the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University to bring in some ancient Maya pieces to accompany the contemporary works. By doing this I hope to draw a direct connection to the history of the Popol Vuh stories, and their continued significance in the modern world.


The Popol Vuh is a 16th century highland Guatemala account of creation mythology composed by the K’iche’ Maya. The book contains some of the richest mythological stories found anywhere in the world. These stories, much like other mythologies, describe the actions of the deities and heroes responsible for the creation of the cosmos and of human beings.

This exhibition seeks to illustrate this incredible collection of myths by enlisting contemporary artists to create works in any media that illustrate, either literally or conceptually, some aspect of the stories whether a character, event, place or theme. The works will be displayed in a narrative fashion, wrapping around the gallery space, in an attempt to convey the story visually.


Popol Vuh Prospectus


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